Wednesday, November 23, 2016

100 Christmas Dollies 2016: Beneficiary Announcement

Pastor Ephantus proudly wore his new Surprised by Hope shirt to a community meeting where he represented us well. Before the meeting began, however, Pastor James excitedly introduced himself and said, “I know that lady! I know that lady!” while pointing to the logo on Pr Ephantus’s shirt.

Pastor James attended our first ever business workshop in Watamu, Kenya almost four years ago. Though it seems those who remain closest to Surprised by Hope did not maintain contact with him as he is located a bit far from that venue. 

Without hesitation, Pr James continued to share his story. He reported that he pastors a small church called PEMA Church in Mjanaheri, which is just outside Malindi town. Pastor James said that after he learned about asset-based development, he and his church members decided to rent land and farm maize and other cereals there. From that work they began improving their personal lives and building their church. 

The original PEMA Church structure fits
inside the very large, faith-filled new structure.
You can see from the wet cement in these photos that the church members add a layer of coral bricks as they are able. This is the result of four years of hard work. Notice, too, that the old church is just a tiny mud and stick structure inside the much larger new church walls. This new structure is a real testimony to Isaiah 54:1–6:

Clear lots of ground for your tents!
    Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
    drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room
    for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations;
    you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
    Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.

Who Qualifies
Surprised by Hope has several criteria that must be met before selecting the beneficiary of the 100 Christmas Dolly gift. 
  • The church pastor or leaders must have attended a Surprised by Hope workshop.
  • The church must evidence direct application of some lesson from that workshop toward positive change in their church. We acknowledge that there are many ways to apply our lessons and that not all of them are tangible. However, our goal is to leave a tangible, long-lasting legacy and so we aim at selecting churches who are making physical improvements.
  • Church members must evidence their own motivation toward their goal without expecting the 100 Christmas Dolly gift.
  • Our gift must be only a minor portion of the overall work of the church construction. We are not in the business of building churches, it’s members are. We simply wish to offer a small gift to help them along.

As you can see, Pr James and PEMA Church meet all these criteria very well. We are excited to award PEMA Church the 100 Christmas Dolly gift for 2016 and are so thankful for Pastor James’s faithful service to the people of Mjanaheri, Kenya.

What should you do?

What will Surprised by Hope do?
  • Provide a Christmas meal for PEMA Church families.
  • Share a child-sized story of the Nativity.
  • Match one dolly per child from that church.
  • Send you a picture of the child with your sponsored dolly.
  • Provide funds to PEMA Church to build a roof.
  • Post follow up stories as the construction proceeds.

Read About Previous Gifts

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